Inaugural lecture: 'When our microscopic allies turn against us'
- Leonard Deacon Lecture Theatre, Medical School Building, University of Birmingham
- Lectures Talks and Workshops, Medical and Dental Sciences, Research
Professor Willem Van Schaik, Professor in Microbiology and Infection, Institute of Microbiology and Infection
Trillions of bacteria live on and inside our bodies. Most of these bacteria are harmless or even beneficial to our health. However, a relatively small number of bacterial species from the gut can cause infections if our immune system is compromised. Worryingly, these ‘opportunistic pathogens’ are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, which complicates the treatment of infections caused by these bacteria.
In my lecture I will present the mechanisms by which bacteria from the human gut can become antibiotic-resistant superbugs. I will also discuss how the knowledge generated in these studies can be used to design interventions to minimise the global spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.